Thursday, April 18, 2024

New chief executive for CSIRO

Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Doug Hilton AO, has been named as the new chief executive of Australia’s national science agency.

Professor Hilton (pictured), a molecular and cellular biologist, will begin the role at CSIRO on 29 September.

Academy President, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC welcomed the appointment of Professor Hilton by CSIRO’s board of directors.

“Doug is a widely respected scientist and leader whose 14 years as WEHI Director were characterised by innovation and progressive leadership, including a wholehearted commitment to gender equality and diversity,” Professor Jagadish said.

“Indeed, when Doug was elected a Fellow of the Academy for his outstanding contributions to science, his citation noted that he is a wonderful ambassador for the Australian research community.

“I’m sure that will continue to be the case as Doug takes on this leadership role at CSIRO,” Professor Jagadish said.

In a statement posted to CSIRO’s website, Professor Hilton said the intent of CSIRO to deliver science for the benefit of the community was completely aligned with his personal values.

“I am looking forward to leading CSIRO as we work to solve our nation’s greatest challenges,” Professor Hilton said.

“I will join CSIRO, after leading WEHI where our staff and students strive to help people live healthier for longer. At CSIRO I know that same sentiment will be there and that’s incredibly important to me.”

Professor Hilton has maintained an active research program at WEHI while Director.

His research has significantly advanced our understanding of how blood cells form.

As a PhD student in the 1980s, Professor Hilton continued the work of Professors Tony Burgess, Don Metcalf and Nick Nicola (his supervisor) purifying a class of cell signalling hormones, or cytokines, called colony stimulating factors.

He and colleagues purified and cloned a new cytokine, which, when applied to cultured leukaemia cells, changed them to a more mature state where they grew less rapidly.

They named it leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF), and the discovery has gone on to play a key role in stem cell research.

Latest Articles